Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Book Blitz - Counting on You by Laura Chapman

Counting on You banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Counting on You by Laura Chapman. Read on for more information about of this book and there's an US only giveaway. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 27 August till 2 September. See the tour schedule here.

Counting on YouCounting on You (Amarillo Sour #1)
By Laura Chapman
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 28 August 2018

Is love worth the risk?

Math teacher Haleigh Parde has no desire to change her single status until she receives an invitation to her high school reunion. With her ex spreading rumors she needs a date and fast. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Haleigh finds herself meeting a blind date at a neighborhood bar called Amarillo Sour . . .

After watching Haleigh crash and burn, app developer Ian Henning makes her a proposition. If she'll provide honest feedback on his new dating app, he'll guarantee her a date to knock the socks off her former classmates. Even better, he—and the other Amarillo Sour regulars—will help her navigate the rocky road of dating.

Through setups ranging from awkward to absurd, Haleigh discovers her matchmaker might just be better than the matches. And Ian wonders if she's the answer to everything he's worked for professionally. Or is she something much, much more . . .

You can find Counting on You on Goodreads

You can buy Counting on You here:
- Amazon
- Kobo
- iTunes

Laura ChapmanAbout the Author:
Laura Chapman is the author of sweet and sexy romantic comedies. A born and raised Nebraska girl, she loves watching football, traveling, crafting, and baking. When she isn’t writing her next story, she is probably working at a museum by day and binge-watching Netflix with her cats Jane and Bingley at night. So, basically, she’s living large.

You can find and contact Laura Chapman here:
- Amazon

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Counting on You. One winner will win a Amarillo Sour Starter Kit, that includes two shot glasses, two coasters, a bottle opener and pens with the bar’s logo on them plus a $10 Amazon card. US Only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

My Thoughts 
 What a great read!  I loved how it jumped back and forth between Jessie's story line and her mother Eden's story line before she had Jessie.
I can honestly say that there were some points in the story where Jessie's insomnia was talked about quite a bit and I felt like it could have been shortened a little.
The story really had me thinking about what truly happened and several times I was wrong and I loved that!
A lot of what Jessie is thinking and seeing is truly due to her lack and sleep and we all know that things get cloudy when you are working on little to no sleep.
She goes through hell and back trying to find out who she is and the end will really throw you!

Drink Selection
 I'm in the fall mood, Apple Cider Mimosas sound amazing!

Mary Kubica

 About Mary 
 Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. Mary lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children.

Link to Purchase

Always A Bridesmaid for Hire by Jen Glantz

After moving to New York City in her mid-twenties to pursue her dream of writing—and not living on the “Upper East Side” of her parents’ house anymore—Jen Glantz looked forward to a future of happy hours and Sunday brunches with her besties.

What she got instead were a string of phone calls that began with, "Jen, I have something exciting to tell you!" and ended with, "I'd be honored if you would be my bridesmaid." At first she was delighted, but it wasn’t long before she realized two things: all of her assets were tied up in bridesmaid dresses, and she herself was no closer to finding The One. She couldn't do much about the second thing (though her mother would beg to differ), but she could about the first.

One (slightly tipsy) night, Jen posted an ad on Craigslist advertising her services as a professional bridesmaid. When she woke up the next morning, it had gone viral. What began as a half-joke suddenly turned into a lifetime of adventure for Jen–and more insight into the meaning of love than she was getting from OKCupid—as she walked down the aisle at stranger after stranger's wedding.

My Thoughts  
When I first heard the title I thought, what an amazing job as a bridesmaid for hire?   Are there really enough women out there that don't have enough friends to choose or do they just not trust their friends?
One by one her friends were tying the knot and she was ALWAYS asked to be a bridesmaid.  That must get pricey! 
When would she find her prince charming?  Brunching and going with friends wasn't working, dating sites weren't working, what gives?
If I had even 1 of some of the dates that she shares, I would swear off dating forever!  
One night after a few drinks, she posted an ad on Craig's List (which her mother told her NEVER to do) offering her services as a Bridesmaid for Hire!  She received so many emails!  Insane amounts!  She was also being asked to appear on lots of TV shows and interviewed for articles.
This book will have you in laughing and wanting to cry for her at the same time. 

Drink Selection
Cosmopolitan for sure, hey this is NYC!  


Jen Glantz 
About Jen 
 en Glantz is the world’s first professional bridesmaid and founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She’s the heartbeat behind the website The Things I Learned From, and the author of the Amazon-bestselling ebook, All My Friends are Engaged. She can be found in New York City wearing old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store, on first dates, or double-fisting slices of one-dollar pizza.

Link to Purchase

Nine Ladies Dancing by Cat Lavoie

Casey Ellis is the last person who should be planning her office’s holiday party. Convinced she’s plagued with chronic Christmas bad luck, Casey isn’t interested in tempting fate. But when putting on a party planner hat seems like a good way to get closer to her longtime crush, Casey takes charge—and braces for impact.

When things start to fall apart—just like Casey knew they would—will she run and hide, or will she learn that bad luck can sometimes turn out to be Christmas magic in disguise? 

My Thoughts 
 I wasn't feeling the greatest last night and I just needed a fun pick me up and this novella hit the spot perfectly!
Casey gets sucked into planning the dreaded Christmas Party at work after the previous woman retired (was this person the reason for her demise?)  Ok, let's be honest she was tricked into doing it by her best friend who stated that it MAY bring her closer to her office crush.  
Now mind you in Casey's mind, she has NO luck at all, why would she feel she could take on a crazy ALL DAY work party?
There is some scandal, Christmas cheer, and enough bad luck to go around twice!  Will she survive this party and keep her job?  Will she snag the guy of her dreams?

Drink Selection
We are going to go with Nine Ladies Dancing punch - cinnamon, sugar, vanilla bean and more!  YUM!

Cat Lavoie

About Cat 
Cat Lavoie is a chick lit writer from Montreal, Canada.

She loves writing fun and quirky romantic comedies and is the author of BREAKING THE RULES, ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN, PERI IN PROGRESS and MESSING WITH MATILDA.

A fan of all things feline, Cat loves cats and hopes to someday have a house full of them in order to officially become a crazy cat lady. (But one or two cats will do for now.)

If she isn't reading or writing, Cat enjoys listening to podcasts (mostly comedy and true crime) and watching way too much TV. She fell in love with London many years ago and hopes to go back one day. Cat is currently at work on her next novel.

To connect with Cat and find out more about her books, visit CatLavoie.com and follow @CatLavoieBooks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Link to Purchase

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Blog Tour Stop - Keep Her Silent by Theresa Talbot

Ooonagh O’Neil is back with another dark and chilling investigation…

 ‘Do that which is good and no evil shall touch you’

That was the note the so-called Raphael killer left on each of his victims. Everyone in Glasgow - investigative journalist Oonagh O'Neil included - remember the murder of three women in Glasgow which sent a wave of terror through the city. They also remember that he is still at large...

When the police investigation into the Raphael killings reopens, Oonagh is given a tip off that leads her straight to the heart of a complex and deadly cover-up. When history starts to repeat itself, it seems the killer is closer than she thinks. Could Oonagh be the next target...?

Authentic and gritty, Keep Her Silent is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Susie Steiner, and Karin Slaughter, Patricia Gibney.

About Theresa Talbot

Theresa is a BBC broadcaster and freelance producer. A former radio news editor, she also hosted The Beechgrove Potting Shed on BBC Radio Scotland, but for many she will be most familiar as the voice of the station's Traffic & Travel.
 Late 2014 saw the publication of her first book, This Is What I Look Like, a humorous memoir covering everything from working with Andy Williams to rescuing chickens and discovering nuns hidden in gardens. She's much in demand at book festivals, both as an author and as a chairperson.

Follow Theresa

Twitter: @theresa_talbot

Facebook: @TheresaTalbotBooks

Buy links: 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2KtnDBg

iBooks: https://apple.co/2KscfoZ

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2u0VxlQ

Follow Aria

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Release Day! - Love Blooms by Amber Root and Ellen Wilder

Congrats to Amber Root and Ellen Wilder! LOVE BLOOMS, book two in the Love Grows Wild series, is out now!

Promo Signup || Amber Root + Ellen Wilder – Love Blooms

Love Blooms by Amber Root, Ellen Wilder

Series: Love Grows Wild #2
Published by Kindred Ink Press LLC on August 22, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Writing duo Amber Root and Ellen Wilder bring you the hope-filled sequel to Love Blossoms—a story about healing, renewal, and love that stands the test of time.

"The seeds of love grow everywhere...but it blooms best when tended daily."

Hart Muller and Mina Vitalli were meant for each other. They thought they'd spend the rest of their lives together until Mina’s teenage addiction ends their relationship and breaks their hearts. Hart and Mina went their separate ways and chased other dreams, convinced their forever was a thing of the past.

Five years later, Hart finds himself back in his hometown building a full-sized replica of a Viking Longship to prove a theory that could make his career in cultural anthropology. Mina decides to move closer to her parents and make her dream of owning a veterinary clinic a reality.

Neither expects to see the other in the same small town.
Neither can deny the passion each still feels.
Neither wants to give up the future they've built for themselves on the off-chance that the past might hold a better dream.

Will they be able to rekindle romance and make their love bloom once again? Or will the time, distance, and history kill it once and for all?

About Amber Root

Amber Root is a bibliophile, author, crafter, spinner, farmer, mother of two beautiful boys, and unrepentant nerd. She lives on twenty three beautiful acres in the Cascade Mountains of Western Washington and divides her time between: her loving family, the many animals on the farm, and the characters in her head.

About Ellen Wilder

Ellen Wilder was born and raised in Indiana. She is happily married to her husband of seven years and enjoys raising their two girls and one boy in the house where she grew up. They have a border collie/corgi mix named Loki and six extremely spoiled cats.

Her parents started reading to Ellen and her siblings at a very young age. They quickly tired of books for younger children and turned to chapter books like Tarzan, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings forging Ellen’s love for reading.

Ellen started writing in Junior High with an assignment from her computer writing teacher. Her first attempt at a modern day Old Yeller crossover with NYPD Blue was “awful,” but that didn’t stop the inspiration from flowing. Ellen now writes contemporary romance novels with a realistic twist to them. If you’re looking for fairy tales, you won’t find them here as her characters deal with real life issues. She loves helping people with their writing, paying forward the help that she has received allowing her to be where she is today.

Release Blitz organized by:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Blitz - All That Doesn't by Tracy Krimmer

All That Doesn't banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for All That Doesn’t by Tracy Krimmer. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 till 21 August. See the tour schedule here.

All That Doesn'tAll That Doesn’t (All That #2)
By Tracy Krimmer
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Women’s Fiction
Age category: Adult
Release Date: August 20, 2018

After a devastating end to her marriage, Dory Walker has rebuilt her life in her hometown of Sycamore Bay. She’s left her music career behind and is only looking forward to her future with her rekindled love, Harris Malone.

Single dad Harris is doing his best to guide his young daughter and take the reins of his soon to be retired dad’s hardware store. With Dory by his side, he can do anything.

But just when Dory thought she had it all, a surprise visitor turns her world upside down with a revelation that threatens to tear her family apart. She turns to Harris for help, but he’s caught up trying to save his relationship with his daughter. Can the bond between Dory and Harris survive these turbulent times?

You can find All That Doesn’t on Goodreads

Don’t miss the special release day price of $2.99!
You can buy All That Doesn’t here:
- Amazon
- B&N
- Kobo
- iTunes

First book in this series
All That Glitters
“A has-been country music star. A divorced dad from a small town. Almost a decade of bottled up passion...”

- Goodreads
- Amazon
- B&N
- Kobo
- iTunes
- All vendors link

All That series graphic

Tracy KrimmerAbout the Author:
Tracy Krimmer loves coffee, popcorn, Drew Barrymore, and the movie Saving Silverman. She enjoys reading great books (of course) and writing realistic characters for you to enjoy. When she listens to music she prefers the 80s and 90s music she grew up on. In a typical day you’ll find her writing at one of her favorite spots--on the couch, at the kitchen table, or at her favorite hometown coffee shop.

You can find and contact Tracy here:
- Website
- Twitter
- Facebook
- Reader Group
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Bookbub
- Instagram
- Newsletter

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of All That Doesn’t. One winner will win a Bath & Body Works gift set. US Only.

The set contains:
- 1 Hello beautiful Shea & vitamin e shower gel
- 1 Hello beautiful fragrance mist
- 1 Hello beautiful Shea butter & coconut body lotion
See picture below
Giveaway Prize

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 20, 2018

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

For Rose Enright, enrolling in a prestigious New England boarding school is the opportunity of a lifetime. But for Rose’s vulnerable twin sister Bel, Odell Academy is a place of temptation and danger. When Bel falls in with a crowd of wild rich kids who pressure her into hazing Rose, the sisters’ relationship is shattered. Rose turns to her dorm mother, Sarah Donovan, for advice. But Bel turns to Sarah’s husband Heath, a charismatic and ambitious teacher. Is Heath trying to help Bel or take advantage of her? In a world of privilege, seduction, and manipulation, only one sister will live to tell the truth.

My Thoughts
WOW!  This is one of those books that I can't give too much away or what kind of fun would that be?
Twins, Rose and Bel Enright lose both of their parents at young ages and are thrown for a loop when they are sent to live with their Grandmother (whom they have barely talked to all their lives).  On top of that, she decides that it would be best to send the girls to a Ivy League boarding school, really?  She is a very cold woman and mothering two teenage girls is clearly not in her wheelhouse.
Rose is the straight laced sister and jumps right in no issues, on the end Bel is the "trouble maker" and gets in with the wrong crowd from the beginning.
Rose's mentor, Sarah Donovan, helps guide her in the right direction and gives her advice whenever possible.  Bel's mentor is the handsome Heath Donovan (Sarah's husband) and that pair has trouble written all over it.
There are so many twists and turns - affairs, cheating, hazing, failing classes, expulsion - you won't know what hit you on each page. 
I highly recommend you grab a copy and see for yourself.

Drink Selection
This book would pair well with a New England Sour - Yum!!

Michele Campbell
About Michele
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.

She's had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.

Link to Purchase

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Blog Tour Stop - Four Last First Dates by Kate O'Keefe


“TELL ME SOMETHING. DID IT HURT?” The guy I’d known for less than fifteen seconds leaned his hairless, muscular arms on the sticky wooden table, his blue eyes dancing.
I blinked, trying to understand his question. “Did what hurt, exactly?”
“You know, when you fell down to Earth from Heaven.” Satisfied with his pick-up line, he sat back against the vinyl booth seat, flicked his ’seventies Bee Gees hair, and raised his eyebrows in expectation.
I did an internal eye roll. That had to be the tackiest line I’d heard tonight—and I was afraid to report, I’d heard a few. There was something about the short amount of time you got in speed dating that brought out the cheesy in these guys.
I was beginning to regret ever having agreed to this.
I forced a smile. “Oh, sure. I get it. I’m an angel who fell to Earth. That’s a good one.” I tried not to allow the sleaze-factor crawl across my skin.
Oh, how I wished this whole thing could be over and I could go home, throw on Netflix, and eat leftover cake from the Cozy Cottage Café. So much better than having to listen to guys like this one try to “charm me.”
“Shame I wasn’t there to catch you. I’m very strong, you know.” He flexed his bulging muscles, just to make sure I got the message.
“I bet.”
Satisfied with my response, he flashed me a row of perfect pearly whites as he stroked his chin. His thick, designer five-o’clock shadow must have felt like sandpaper.
I glanced over at my friends sitting at the bar—Cassie, Paige, and Marissa—working hard at pretending not to watch my every move. I gotta tell you, they weren’t doing a good job. As soon as they noticed me glaring at them, all three of them snapped their heads away, focusing on anything but me.
Thanks a lot, girls.
Still, I could only blame myself for the predicament I found myself in, sitting across from this guy, listening to his dreadful pick-up lines. You see, I was at this speed dating event down at O’Dowd’s Pub because I was trying to find my Last First Date.
Yes, that’s right. I was trying to find the last man I’d ever go out with. The man I would marry. Although right now, I’d have preferred to forget the whole darn thing.
Why was I subjecting myself to this torture, you may ask? It’s a good question, and one that had me glancing at the exit with longing in my eyes.
It’s a long story. Suffice it to say, I’d agreed to a pact with those three friends of mine at the bar to marry the next guy I dated—just like they had.
Totally insane, right? Certifiable, even. Well, optimistic at the very least.
But whatever a shrink might have to say about it, it meant I needed to find Mr. Right, which was what I was trying to do tonight. And he had to be Mr. Right—not Mr. Okay, Mr. He’ll Do, or even Mr. Right For Now.
No way.
I wasn’t settling for anything less than the absolute perfect guy for me. Because I’d already been there with the guy I thought was perfect for me, the one I planned on spending my life with.
Yet here I sat, single, alone, still looking for love.
The good news was that the pact had worked for Cassie, Paige, and Marissa. All three of them were happily and blissfully in love with their respective guys.
Now, it was my turn. Although looking at the Bee Gees wannabe across the table from me, I was having serious second thoughts about the whole darn thing.
I clenched my fists under the table, determined to turn this conversation around. I decided to change it to something less . . . icky.
I cleared my throat. “You sound British. Are you?”
“I am. London, born and bred,” he replied, tilting his chin up and puffing out his chest. His accent definitely sounded cockney, more like Michael Cain than Hugh Grant.
“I love London. What do you do, ah—” I glanced down at the name tag clipped to his white open-necked shirt, “—Jamie?”
He leant back in. “Actually, I’m going to let you in on a little secret, darlin‘.”
I pressed my lips together. If his opening line was anything to go by, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to hear one of his “little secrets.”
“Jamie’s not my real name.”
“Oh?” I wondered why he chose not to have his actual name on a name tag at a speed dating event.
He shook his head. “He’s my idol, you see. Jamie Oliver.”
That piqued my interest. “Really? I adore Jamie Oliver!”
He shrugged. “A lot of people do. I’m a chef. Pretty famous where I’m from, actually.” He shot me a self-satisfied look.
“Famous, huh?”
What was he doing speed dating at O’Dowd’s Pub in downtown Auckland, literally on the other side of the world, if he was famous?
“Yeah, it’s a bit of a drag. I used to get fans throwing themselves at me. Female fans, usually, of course.” He raised his eyebrows, as if to say “see how desirable I am?”
I didn’t.
Instead, I had an image of a group of frenzied women lunging themselves at him, a frightened look on his face as he scrambled to get away. I had to stifle a giggle.
“That’s why I’m here, you see. I want to meet someone real, someone who doesn’t know me or my work. Know what I mean?”
“Well, I don’t know you or your work, Jamie.”
“Exactly.” His eyes dropped to my chest and lingered there. I self-consciously pulled at my top.
I glanced down at the checklist of questions I’d prepared for tonight. With only four minutes per “date,” I’d decided I wanted to make the conversation as targeted as possible—without making the guys feel like they were being interrogated by the S.S.
Well, maybe a little interrogated. This was meant to be my Last First Date, after all.
I looked back up at Fake Jamie—although with the flicked hair and square jaw he looked much more like a Fabio-wannabe than the chef. “So, tell me, with the limited time we have right now, what do you want me to know about you?”
Clearly not your name . . .
I’d gotten that question from a list on the Internet. I liked it because it wasn’t your usual “what do you do for a living” and “where are you from” line of questioning. And it would hopefully tell me something a little more interesting about each of these men I was meeting tonight.
I sat back and waited for the cheese to ooze right out of him.
I wasn’t disappointed.
“Only that you’re the most beautiful woman in this room, and if you don’t let me take you home tonight, I think I may die.” His eyes slid down to my chest once more where they remained for some time.
Really, I could’ve vomited.
I smiled weakly at him. Four minutes with this guy suddenly felt like a lifetime.
He reached across the table and placed his hand on top of mine. It was warm and clammy. In the interests of being polite, I resisted the urge to pull away—and apply a serious amount of hand sanitizer.
“Bailey. That’s such a beautiful name.”
“Thank you.” I slipped my hand out from under his, shooting him a smile.
“Are you named after the milky liqueur?”
The liqueur? Was he crazy? Who named their child after an alcoholic drink?
“Ah, no. It’s a family name. From my dad’s side.”
“So, our firstborn daughter could be ‘Bailey,’ too.”
Our what? Man, this guy was laying it on by the shovel load.
I laughed nervously, my eyes darting over to my friends once more. Cassie gave me a hopeful look, her hesitant “thumbs up” gesture completely at odds with the way I felt about Fake Jamie—his blatant advances and Fabio looks.
Not that I had anything against this Fabio slash Fake Jamie guy, of course, but I didn’t think I wanted to date him. Let alone have children with him.
My eyes drifted from Cassie to a tall, imposing man standing beside Marissa. After a moment, I recognized him, my tummy doing an involuntary flip as my eyes glided over him. Ryan Jones, Marissa’s older brother. He didn’t look like he did when I last saw him. Sure, he was just as tall, broad, and athletic looking, just as cute—not that I’d noticed any of that before of course.
Oh, okay, I had noticed. In my defense, it was hard not to notice a guy like Ryan. Tall, wide shouldered, handsome, charming. You got the picture.
He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a shirt with the sleeves rolled up, exposing his strong arms. That hadn’t changed. But now, his dirty blonde hair was longer than before, sexier, like he’d just messed it up absent-mindedly with his fingers. He was also sporting a new close-cut beard. And it suited him.
I bit my lip.
Put a hammer in his hand and he’d look like freaking Thor.
The last time I’d seen Ryan Jones was the night Marissa had performed a song for her Last First Date, Nash, at my café. Ryan had flirted with me and made me smile. I didn’t think much of it at the time. You see, he’d flirted with me once before and nothing had come of it. I figured it didn’t mean anything.
Although I’d wished it had.
His eyes found mine, and he flashed his handsome grin. I smiled back before tearing my eyes back to my “date.”
“Umm, I’m not sure we should get that far ahead of ourselves. You know, selecting names for our first born,” I said.
There would be no firstborns called Bailey—or anything else with this guy for that matter. And I could tell you one thing right now; there wouldn’t even be a second date.
Mercifully, the bell rang, indicating our speed date had come to an end.
I smiled at him across the table. “Nice to meet you Fa-Jamie.” I pressed my lips together, glad I caught the nickname I’d given him in my head before it completely escaped my lips.
“You too, beautiful Bailey.” He reached across the table for my hand, but there was no way I was letting his clammy mitts get ahold of me again. Instead, his hand made contact with my elbow which, rather weirdly, he didn’t let go of.
Awkward much?
“I’ll be back later to take you home.” His gaze was intense.
I let out a small shudder.
Before I could say “vomit bag,” another guy materialized at my table. He shot us a puzzled look, and I couldn’t blame him. You didn’t see a man awkwardly holding a woman’s elbow over a table every day of the week.
“Ah, I think you’re needed at the next one, mate,” New Guy said, nodding at the table beside mine where a petite blonde woman with a top that plunged almost to her navel was seated.
Fake Jamie glanced over at the woman, who smiled back at him. In a flash, he dropped my elbow and sauntered over to her table, flicking his Bee Gees hair as he went.
I let out a relieved puff of air and glanced at the woman, hoping she could manage him better than I had.
New Guy sat down in the now-vacant spot, and the whole thing started over again.
“Hey, I’m Adam.” He reached across and we shook hands. “And you’re—” He glanced at my nametag then back up into my eyes. “Bailey.”
Already, things were off to a better start than the previous four minutes of my life. Which, let’s face it, wasn’t exactly hard.
“Hi, Adam. It’s great to meet you.” I flashed a smile, more than a little relieved this guy seemed normal—so far, anyway.
And did I mention quite cute, too?
“So, shall we begin? I mean we only have four minutes,” Adam said.
“Right. Bailey, what’s the one thing about yourself you would like me to know?”
I let out a laugh. “That’s my question!”
“Really?” His smile was broad, and I noticed how open and kind his face was. He wasn’t Hollywood-star handsome, with his slightly receding hairline and eyebrows a beauty therapist would have a field day with, but he seemed nice—and a million miles from Fake Jamie’s creepiness.
“I just asked that last guy the very same question. His answer was . . . how do I put this?”
“Too smooth?” Adam replied.
Adam and I both glanced over at the adjacent couple where Fake Jamie was leaning across the table and had taken the petite blonde woman’s hands in his. I guessed he was delivering the same lines as he had to me. She looked about as enthralled as I had been.
Poor girl.
Adam returned his attention to me. “I should be honest with you. I did some research online to find questions for this speed dating thing. You see, I’ve not done it before, and my friends kind of pushed me into it.”
I glanced across at my own friends, sipping their wine and being about as subtle as a sledgehammer as they watched me and Adam on our “date.”
“You know what? I can relate to that.”
“You got railroaded into this, too, huh?”
I shrugged. “Kind of. It was my friend Marissa’s suggestion, but I guess I’m the one sitting here, right?”
“Right.” He smiled, and I couldn’t help but return it.
This is going well. Maybe Marissa was right? Maybe “going old school” by speed dating instead of using those dating apps or sites was the right thing to do?
“Anyway, to answer your question, I guess I would like you to know that I’m here genuinely looking for someone.”
His smile grew. “That’s good to know. Me too. Or, at least, I am now.”
Unlike with Fake Jamie, the compliment didn’t have even a whiff of cheese to it. In fact, it was . . . nice.
“Ready for my next question? I’ve got a huge list.” He laughed.
“Sure. Fire away.”
“What are you most proud of?”
“Great question! I hadn’t seen that one.”
“Thanks. It’s all in a day’s work.”
“Okay, I guess it would have to be my business.”
“What do you do?”
“I run a café, and I love it.” I thought of the Cozy Cottage Café and smiled. I’d been running it with Paige, my dear, sweet friend, for some time now, and we had taken it to new heights. We were always busy, feeding and watering the masses in our homely, welcoming café.
“A café? Nice. I like coffee. And eating.”
I laughed. “Well, you should stop by some time.”
“What’s it called?”
I told him about the Cozy Cottage, and we continued to chat, the four minutes whizzing by. All too soon, the bell sounded, and Adam got up to leave.
“I hope to see you again.” The skin around his eyes crinkled as a smile lit up his face.
“You, too.”
I looked over at the girls, all three giving me the thumbs up. I beamed at them. Perhaps this speed dating thing hadn’t been such a bad idea, after all?

Four Last First Dates by Kate O'Keeffe
Series: Cozy Cottage Café #4
Published by Wild Lime Books on August 9, 2018
Genres: Romantic Comedy
What do you do when you’ve agreed to a pact with your friends to get married, but neither you nor the guy in your sights is quite ready to fall in love? Bailey De Luca is the last of her friends to complete the Last First Date pact—to marry the next guy she dates. But lady luck must be in a bad mood, because so far, it's all come to nothing. Everywhere she looks people are in love. Everyone except her. Is she fundamentally unlovable? Or is it that she’s already found—and lost—The One? Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure: Bailey never expected to be alone at thirty. When one of her friends announces her engagement with a rock that could eclipse the sun, Bailey throws herself into a new business. Starting up Cozy Cottage Catering seems like the perfect way to bury her head in the sand. But fate has other ideas, and soon Bailey is swept off her feet by the oh-so cute Ryan Jones. Ryan may seem like the perfect combination of Prince Charming meets Thor (without the hammer), but is Bailey ready to be with him? Or will the ghost of her past love prevent her from finding happiness again? Escape to New Zealand in this fun, feel-good sweet romance. Books in the Cozy Cottage Café series: Book 1: One Last First Date Book 2: Two Last First Dates Book 3: Three Last First Dates Book 4: Four Last First Dates

About Kate O’Keeffe

Kate O’Keeffe is a bestselling author of fun, feel-good romantic comedies. She lives and loves in beautiful Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand with her family, two scruffy dogs, and a cat who thinks he’s a scruffy dog too. He’s not: he’s a cat. When she’s not penning her latest story, Kate can be found hiking up hills (slowly), travelling to different countries, and eating chocolate. A lot of it.
Kate has written the Amazon bestsellers the Cozy Cottage Café series, the popular chick lit stories, the Wellywood Romantic Comedy series, as well as some standalone titles.

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